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    DEFLATEGATE

    Patriot Gave Official Unapproved Ball

    via ESPN

    The NFL says it has found a New England Patriots staffer who tried to sneak an unapproved football into the “Deflategate” game. League sources tell ESPN that Jim McNally, a locker-room attendant, tried to get a “kicking ball” into the first half of the AFC Championship game. The so-called K-balls are meant to be used by special teams, not by offenses. An alternate official said he noticed the ball didn’t have special identifying marks on it (normally made by the lead referee) and was suspicious that an attendant who belongs in the locker room was on the field trying to hand him a ball. ESPN notes it’s unclear if McNally is the same locker-room attendant who reportedly snuck into a bathroom stall with several balls.